FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT FLOSSE TO APPEAR AGAIN IN PARIS IN "HOMBO"

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GRAFT CASE

PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (October 4, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse is to appear again Friday in a Paris court of appeal in a graft case involving a gambling house owner, Julien Li Lem, RFO-radio reports.

The appeal court is to hear two cases: one called the "Hombo" case.

An earlier ruling found Flosse guilty of graft and accepting bribes from ethnic Chinese businessman Julien Li Lem (nicknamed Hombo) between 1990 and 1992, in exchange for an operating license for a gambling house in Pirae town (near Pape'ete).

Flosse, who was also Pirae lord mayor at the time, was fined 1.8 million French Pacific Francs (about US$ 13,177.20) and given a suspended two-year jail term and a one-year suspension of his civic rights to vote and contest elections.

He appealed the ruling, saying the money was not for him, but for his Tahoeraa political party.

Another case, pertaining to Air Oceania, a local private airline, is also to be heard.

Prosecution alleges that between 1992 and 1993, Flosse improperly obtained free air tickets worth six million CFP (US$ 43,923.90).

In the initial ruling, also to be tried by the appeals court, Flosse was found guilty of abusing public funds and sentenced to an eight-month suspended jail sentence and a fine of 2.8 million CFP (US$ 20,497.80).

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